SAN DIEGO — The Department of Justice may seek the death penalty against Matthew Coleman, the Santa Barbara father, and QAnon conspiracist, accused of murdering his young children with a spear gun in Baja Mexico last August.
In a May 13 court filing, U.S. Attorneys in San Diego asked for additional time before moving forward with the trial against Coleman as they "contemplate" whether to pursue the death penalty.
In addition, a new search warrant filed in federal court on June 3, shows the federal prosecutors continue to scour through Coleman's computers in hopes of determining whether or not he has a "legitimate mental illness."
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Coleman is accused of taking his two-year-old son and his 10-month-old daughter from their Santa Barbara home to a beach community near Rosarito without his wife's knowledge where the 40-year-old surf instructor allegedly murdered the two children.
According to text messages which were included in Coleman's indictment, Coleman was a QAnon conspiracy theorist, who believed his wife had "serpent DNA" and passed it along to the couple's children. He told authorities on his arrest that he believed his children would become monsters and he needed to kill them.
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In text messages that Coleman wrote to his wife, Abby, around the time of the murders, Coleman texted, "Things have been rough but starting to get some clarity as well. Still confused about a lot of things though and processing through them. So many crazy thoughts going through my head right now, hard to explain. Yeah, funny you're getting some clarity through my grandma's old bibles. Wasn't there 2? Anyways, was actually still thinking of burning them in case there's a chip in them or something. Going to keep processing everything and hope to get some answers. Hope all this craziness ends soon. Love you.”
Later that same day, on August 9, 2021, federal agents arrested Coleman at the San Ysidro Port of Entry as he tried to cross back into the United States. Mexican authorities found Coleman's children in a ditch near Rancho Del Cielo.
In interviews with authorities, Coleman said that he first learned of "Lizard People" on Twitter and from who authorities believe is British conspiracy theorist David Icke, who believes reptiles are interbreeding with Nordic people.
However, the June 3 search warrant to gain access to Coleman's Apple account, shows the Department of Justice is further trying to decipher whether or not Coleman was mentally ill at the time of the alleged murders.
"...[S]ome people who are arrested for violent crimes will feign mental illness whereas others may suffer from legitimate mental illness. One way to determine if a person has a legitimate mental illness or is malingering, or to determine the extent to which a person understood the nature of their actions, is to examine their conduct and communications with others during the time around and leading up to specific events," reads the search warrant for Coleman's computer.
"For that reason, I believe an examination of [Coleman's] activity and communications will help establish his true mental state leading up to and around the time of the murders."
Attorneys for Matthew Coleman did not respond to a request for comment.